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DateLine Thursday, 12 July 2007

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Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Ending Rizana’s agony

If the Lankan State’s efforts fail and more importantly if the divine quality of compassion fails to reign in the hearts of humans, local teenager Rizana Nazik would be put to death in Saudi Arabia over a murder charge which many an authority claims has not been proved conclusively or beyond all reasonable doubt.

Rizana’s hapless condition has filled many a local heart with grief, particularly on account of her underage status and we hope the Lankan State would spare no pains to obtain the girl’s release.

Accordingly, we earnestly hope Deputy Foreign Minister Hussain Bhaila’s mission to Saudi Arabia to plead for clemency for Rizana, would be a success. We urge that nothing be allowed to stand in the way of the State winning Rizana’s release. The pricelessness of the girl’s life should be our overriding concern and nothing else.

We could not help reflecting that in the contemporary world the ‘law of love’ and compassion supercedes all other laws and norms.

It forms the bedrock of the UN system, for instance, and is a prime inspirational source of the UN Charter. In other words, the ‘law of love’ is the normative basis of contemporary international relations. That this supreme norm is often observed in the breach does not diminish its validity and universal significance.

We call, therefore, for the abundant exercise of love and compassion on the part of all quarters concerned in the handling of the Rizana case. May it be remembered that to be clement is indeed divine.

That said, we hope Rizana’s condition would alert the local authorities to some glaring irregularities which have been allowed to occur.

To begin with, how has it come about that a teenage girl has obtained “employment” abroad? How did she escape the scrutiny of the local authorities? Are not the local employment agencies subjected to a legal regime which would help prevent these outrages?

These are hard posers which the Lankan State and civil society need to grapple with and answer satisfactorily.

Apparently, a spirit of lassitude prevails in the State agencies which overlook the implementation of the law in relation to the migrant workers of the land. We hope Rizana’s agony, at least, would compel them to ensure that the laws are implemented in both letter and spirit.

That all is not well in the area of preventing the abuse of children by foreign employment racketeers was evident some time back when some girl children, far below employable age, were found in the company of suspect adults who were in the process of sending them abroad. These detections should have kept the authorities on their toes.

Alas, as in the case of a number of issues of similar gravity, an eye of benign neglect seems to have been cast on this problem too.

However, it is not too late to crack down on these grave abuses which are disfiguring our polity.

The present crisis should also prompt the authorities into doing everything in their power to ensure the well being of our migrant workers. Nothing could be left to chance because we owe it to these workers to sustain and strengthen their wholeness in every respect.

The Lankan polity could be accused of killing the proverbial goose that lays the “golden eggs” by turning a Nelsonian eye on the suffering of our migrant workers.

An image makeover: New face of India Inc.

The Left parties changed their position on private investment under Basus chief ministership in West Bengal. In a recent interview, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee expressed a view which can only be regarded as heresy by a genuine Marxist. ‘Private capital is the only way forward,’ he said.

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The origin of life in the universe

The sudden emergence of matter, space, time and energy, pointed to the need for some kind of transcendence. He said “It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.”

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Edward Henry Pedris: his untimely death forged the way to freedom

To safeguard the rights privileges and practices of Buddhists, the Convention of 1815 had been signed between the British and the Chief of the Kandyan Kingdom. The policy of the local authorities had been not to obstruct religious processions or Peraheras but to regulate them so as not to interfere with the worship of other religions.

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Colonial mentality lingers on

Royal College, Majestic City, Regal Cinema, Empire Bakery, the Monarch, Prince Charles Court the list of Sri Lankan institutions and buildings suggesting titillating regal connections is truly impressive.

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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